Classic or Craze: Gilded

Is it a classic or is it a craze?


For our March Classic or Craze, we asked local design professionals about gilded furnishings and accessories. Gilding has been used since ancient times to add shine and shimmer to furnishings and accessories. Fine gold, silver, copper or aluminum leaf powder is applied to objects. Here’s what our local professionals had to say. 

“It is a classic. Gilded furniture has been around for more than 500 years. It was a favorite of kings and queens because it shimmered in the light of the oil lamps. Using thin sheets of gold meant you could gild anything. Today a gilded piece of furniture or a gilded mirror is right at home in traditional or contemporary design making it a classic.” CJ Knapp, Yours by Design

“Gold leaf is the predecessor of gold gilding and was used as early as 400 AD. Gilding became very popular and easily accessible on decorative home furnishings and accessories in the 1840s. Gold gilding has been used in every decade since in one form or another. Hardly a crazy. Why? Incredible rich, beautiful and, believe it or not, a bridging neutral.” David Kent Richardson, David Kent Richardson Decorations + Interior Design.

“All that glitters is not gold…but maybe it should be. The decorative art of gilding is a classic design element that actually dates back to ancient times and was used centuries ago in the opulent French Palace of Versailles. This centuries-old decorative art is extremely versatile in modern-day design, which is why gilding will continues to remain popular. The modern day uses of gilding are endless. Gilding is used in wallcoverings, gold-leaf ceiling applications, ornate furniture and mirrors, lighting, frames, curtain rods, vases and a wide variety of home accessories. Gilding is here to stay." Barbara Collins, Barbara Collins Interior Design.

“Definitely a classic!  And one that's a current favorite.  Gilded furniture and accessories have evolved beyond the antique looks of yesteryear and have been wonderfully reinvented in style and are a welcome addition to both traditional and contemporary decor. A gilded chest or console in an entry foyer or dining room would be a unique accent piece, or go the more conservative route with decorative accessories such as boxes, a tray or a mirror. Gilded accents and furniture bring a sublime sophistication to any space, and that is why they will always be a classic.” Gigi Lombrano, Gigi Lombrano Interiors.

“I would say both! It is certainly something that has stood the test of time, going back to the Gilded Age.  But like most everything, style is cyclical. Things come and go out of trend, and right now we are certainly seeing lots of gold.” Teddy Karl, The Great Cover-Up.